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that has a lot of people concerned. one in five women in america has been to planned parenthood. folks are seeing this as having nothing to do with the budget or the deficit, but really having to do with a political vendetta against women's health care. >> we are joined by two reporters who cover capitol hill. go ahead with your questions. >> i wanted to ask a two-part question. how can you describe funding for planned parenthood as only a political issue given the stress the budget deficit and debt are facing and it is federal funds going to planned parenthood? number two, how you justify, given the state of the recovery, though maybe in recovery, and the things lawmakers have to choose from how do you justified spending on planned parenthood?
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>> to very good questions. what is important to remember is what the house leadership did. they singled out planned parenthood simply saying we could no longer provide health care services under the federal programs. by singling out planned parenthood, they did not save a dime of the budget or deficit. these services continue to go on. they're simply saying the nation's largest provider of these services can no longer provide them. from a fiscal point of view, which is very important we're all very fiscally conscious right now, we are the largest family provider and the most cost-effective. even though we see more than a third of family patients in america, we do for less cost, high quality care that is very affordable. it is important to distinguish the real budget issues from the political move the house has made singling out planned parenthood. it is important to remember that the services we provide through
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the federal programs are family- planning, cancer screenings, prenatal care, basic preventive care. if you look at the other side of this, just from a fiscal issue family planning overall is one of the best investments the government makes. for every dollar the government invests in family-planning taxpayers say $3 to $4 with other costs related to having more unintended pregnancy, undetected cancer, and those kinds of issues. from a fiscal point of view, it makes more sense to invest in family present -- family planning and screening for cancer because it's good for women's health and good for taxpayers. >> we should put on the table how much money we're talking about. how much money do you get from the federal government? >> we have more than 800 health centers in 49 states in america. the federal government pays
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upwards of $300 million for basic preventive care we provide. it is important to remember that this is not money -- we just do not get a big check from the federal government. we work like a hospital. hospitals are reimbursed as well for the services we provide. for every pap smear every birth control exam, for all the prenatal care, all of the family planning visits, in many of these states, flat -- planned parenthood complete with other family providers. that is why state governments choose planned parenthood as a provider because we are the most cost-effective provider of high- quality women's health care in the country. >> the issue of abortion is also part of this. can you talk about that and the funding for it or not? >> that's a great question because there has been a lot of misleading information that has been thrown around. for more than 30 years the federal government from has not spend federal money to pay for abortion services.
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this is not about abortion services at all. all of the repeals the house made with only impact family planning, birth control and basic can sing -- basic cancer screening and prenatal care. these are very strict guidelines. the hyde amendment has been around for a long time and that's true for planned parenthood and hospitals across america who provide a full range of reproductive health care. no federal dollars, except in the most extreme cases pay for abortion services. >> one more follow-up. a $1.1 billion budget. is that correct? >> we are the largest non-profit provider of women's health care in america. we see 3 million patients per year. we do it at an incredibly cost- effective way and we prevent more than 600,000 unintended pregnancies each year in america by providing family-planning.
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2.5 million women and men came to us last year alone and we did about 830,000 breast exams and more than a million pap smears. in many parts of the country what we have been hearing from thousands of women since the house made this decision in many parts of the country planned parenthood is the only provider of basic women's health care. 72% of our health care centers are either in rural america or medically underserved communities. we're a vital provider to men and women each year. >> we are in an era in washington when there is a phenomenal debate going on over the scope of government and what's the appropriate size and scope of the federal government. $300 million for family planning may not be a grand and out of money in the scope of they $three trillion federal budget, but why should the
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federal government be in the business of paying for these kinds of services? why is that something that should be the role of the federal government? >> it hasn't for more than 40 years. when this move was made by the house leadership, which took a lot of folks by surprise because it was such a dramatic, and eliminating all family planning in the country, more than 5 million women get family planning each year through the federal family planning program this was signed into law by richard nixon 40 years ago. i think it was because people recognize women had basic access to health care was good for women and good for the community and give the economy. one of the things that is important to remember is through the family planning program most women particularly -- women usually take care of their kids' first and think about
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others and don't usually think about others. one thing when in need is birth control. it's the most common form of health care in the country. all lot of women will come to planned parenthood or another health care provider for family- planning. the good news is women who come for family planning can then get a pat smear. they can get a breast exam. they can get basic preventive care they might put off otherwise and this is some of the most important health care we can invest in this country. they can do a much better job of treating a cervical cancer if we catch it early. a lot of patience we heard from since this move was made by the house, one of them was from florida who wrote to us that her cervical cancer had been detected at a very early stage at planned parenthood in florida. she was able to get treated and now has two daughters in their
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20s and both planned parenthood patients. she said at time i did not have health insurance and cannot afford medical care, planned parenthood help me take care of something that, without having gone there, might mean i was not here today. >> can you talk to us about what your doing on the hill right now to try to prevent this writer from being a part of any budget deal? what are the repercussions for the members of congress who voted to eliminate your funds? will they be facing in the 2012 elections? >> those are great questions. the way i look repealing the family planning, which is normative health care for women we need to have more of it. for folks who want to reduce unintended pregnancy, teen pregnancy and abortion rate in america, we need to have more family planning. this notion is universal the --
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universally supported and will have political repercussions. since the house took the vote, we've heard from more than 800,000 women and many men concerned about this. they're republicans, democrats, independents voters of every stripe because what this move showed them was the house was really putting a political agenda ahead of women's health care. i think that is very dangerous and i have been heartened to see as this issue is now in the senate and there's been all lot of discussion to see not only democratic members of the senate by republican members come out and say this is basic health care and we need to have family planning, we need to have cancer screenings, and planned parenthood plays a vital role. the statement from leigh some rakowski from alaska, a state
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where we have -- this statement from the we saidmurkowski was very eloquent in talking about the need painewebber to not use the access women currently have. >> what is the strategy on the hill for winning this issue and for those members to ignore your please, will they face you in a primary or general election where you will support their opposition? >> we are definitely educating folks around the country around how people voted for it feeling -- voted for repeal in family planning. all the polling we have seen, there was a "wall street journal" poll that was specific on this issue, there was overwhelming support for planned parenthood and plant -- family planning in this country. folks who oppose these basic health-care services, i don't think it's good politics.
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it was interested in looking at that "wall street journal" poll, more than 60% of women of child- bearing age strongly opposed repealing family-planning in america. in the senate, we have been working with all of the senators to educate them about the vital health-care service is planned parenthood provides in their state and community. we have been very heartened by the response. once the political strongman drang dissipates, -- political sturm and drang dissipates, one of the last things we need to do in this country is to take away provide access. >> we have seen a little bit of cooling in the social issue worse as the economy has been such a pressing concern across the country. looking at it to the next collection how much do you see
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this being part of a renewed interest in these types of social issues, looking ahead to the 2012 presidential, are you working with presidential candidates right now? how much retrying to lobby them to get them on your side or get them to tamp down their concerns over these issues? >> that a long time away and we're focused right now getting the budget passed and making sure we do everything we can to preserve family planning services for women than men and families across america -- four women and men and families across america. the house has totally misread where the people of america are and that's going to spill over into the 2012 alexians. no matter what poll you look at when november -- the 2012 elections.
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the election was not about social issues. members of the tea party have said that as well. this is not legitimate and understandable anxiety about the economic future for themselves and for their kids, whether they will find a job whether they will get health care coverage. this focus on -- in a very extreme fashion, going after women's health care, is extremely discordant. it will be interesting to see how it plays out. the administration has been extremely supportive of women's health care and getting preventive care to women is a priority. this will be an issue as we get toward the election and it is important to push and make sure republicans and democrats stand for women's health care, particularly preventive care. >> can you explicitly say there are ramifications from planned parenthood not from people who support you but from planned parenthood that there are
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ramifications for voting against funding for your organization? >> i want to stress an important point david asked earlier. what the house leadership did had nothing to do with funding. it did not have any thing to do with the budget or the deficit. it simply said we're going to say planned parenthood can no longer provide preventive care through any federal programs. that was a direct political fight. >> why is it not a financial issue? >> all they said was planned ahead, not the we are not going to provide those services, but that planned parenthood cannot provide them. >> i don't mean to interrupt but they said you cannot provide them with federal money? >> through federal programs. >> you would have to go elsewhere throughout -- you have to go elsewhere for the money.
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do you still get the $300 million? >> if the house leadership had their way, planned parenthood and no longer be able to provide any services through federal programs. >> doesn't that mean the government will save $300 million? >> it know because the women would have to find those services somewhere else. we have looked at this from a taxpayer point of view. >> you say they will end up having to spend it anyway, but that is your point of view. i am not defending them, but you could eliminate 300 million in funding they are spending. they may have to spend it somewhere else. in their view, and they may not. >> they are saying we will just get rid of planned parenthood and women can go get services the morals. >> in theory, they could go somewhere else not funded by the government. >> no.
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these women are eligible through -- >> through medicaid? >> premeditate through title 10 its -- through medicaid, through title 10. mike pence's a memo was a political amendment to say we're not going to allow planned parenthood to provide planning, cancer screening std testing. here is the irony of the whole thing -- when you do the math, to replace the services, because we are the most cost- effective provider of family planning, we get last -- we'll less money to -- and to replace those services must they're going to eliminate the federal program completely through which women get service, to replace us would cost taxpayers to madrid million dollars at a minimum if they could find
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another provider which would provide the services. if you do the math, it's fiscally -- not only does not do anything for the deficit, it will end up costing the taxpayers more money. >> what about the argument you are a political organization so the government may spend a same amount of money elsewhere that they will be spending with medicaid providers not also spending money to be involved in elections. >> the government spends money in a lot of different ways. what the federal government usually does is look at who is the most projects -- most effective provider. we provide services to 3 million folks every single year. these are people who could go anywhere today. they're not forced to go to go -- to go to planned parenthood. they choose planned parenthood because they trusted provider. it may be the only provider in their community. 72% of our centers are in underserved communities where
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women's health care is hard to come by. the problem as we spent the last two years in america trying to address the lack of health care access in america. the house has said we are not only not going to address the lack of health care access we're going to take away the largest family health-care provider in america and say you cannot provide services. if you look at what is going to happen under the affordable care act, millions more folks will be insured and have access to getting basic preventive care. this is a time we should focus on how we expand the supply in this country because there's going to be a lot of demand for family planning, cancer screenings, and i don't think is the agenda of the american people to eliminate services women are already getting and getting buried -- getting in a very cost-effective way. >> it seems like most of the
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problem is you are a provider of abortion services. how do you try to make the argument to lawmakers to divorce your abortion services with the other services you provide? are there any thought about trying to move away from those services so you don't have this kind of controversy following planned parenthood's other work? >> here is an important fact to get out -- 97% of the services we provide through planned parenthood, family planning, basic cancer screenings, prenatal care, jack ups, 97% of our services are preventive. 3% of our services are abortion- related. women are legally entitled to safe abortions. i want to make sure everyone understands -- through the hyde
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amendment, passed decades ago no federal funds go to whether it is planned parenthood or your local hospital, which operates exactly like we do, federal funds to not go to pay for abortion services. the regulations around us are very strict and have been. i think folks know that and just like every other health-care provider that gets federal funds, we are reimbursed for services provided. for every papps mayor every breast exam, every birth control visit -- for every pat smear every breast exam, every birth control and an ms it, it's important. that is why we are seeing such an outpouring in this country of support. one in five women in this country has been to planned parenthood in their lifetime. we are hearing from the mall across the country. women who had their first breast exam and sound utterly they had
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a lump and were able to get treatment. women who got their first birth control at a time when they may not have had health insurance coverage. maybe their job did not pay them enough to get care elsewhere. we are very proud of that. we take the health care of women in this country very seriously. >> i want to delve then into the political side of this. notwithstanding some of the pro- choice republicans on the hill, particularly in the senate, in the house, you have a large collection of anti-abortion or pro-life republicans to view planned parenthood as a political organization predicted early aligned with the democratic party. if you are trying to make the argument which made eloquently about all the services you provide, how do you square that with the politics you are involved in? with your support of pro- choice, democratic candidates,
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for instance, as republicans or others vote against funding for planned parenthood, you still have not answered, will there be repercussions in terms of who you support? on the flip side, if scott brown sticks with you guys on defending funding for planned parenthood does that mean you don't get involved with his eventual democratic opponent? how do you make the sale and how are you going to be involved in the next election? >> planned parenthood not through planned parenthood federation of america, through our action fund, we advocate for health care for women with everyone. democrats, independents, republicans. i believe myself, that support for family planning, support for government not getting into the private medical decisions of women is not a partisan issue. the irony of all of this is somebody planned parenthood's were started by republicans.
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but goldwater family in arizona i could go down the list read there was a day in which women's health care was not considered a political issue. unfortunately, times have changed and we are seeing women's health care used as a political issue. >> but you do have a party in that. planned parenthood takes political positions. >> we do on behalf of women. we are not aligned with any party. we support anyone who supports women's health care access. that is important. we are seeing this played out in this congress. the decisions congress makes or states' legislatures make on women's health care access has an enormous in fact on women's lives. it would be irresponsible of us not to be involved in advocating for both policies and people who support women's health care. i am very heartened by the
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positions of some of the newer members of the senate and some tried and true supporters of women's health care on the republican side of the aisle who have said very eloquently that this is not a partisan issue. i look forward to the day in which we can take the politics out of women's health care and is good back to the work i think the american people want to see. >> you have a background in politics. you were the deputy chief of staff for nancy pelosi. >> i was, yes. >> i'm curious about your mother's role and her influence over you in politics. what did those two women and richards former governor of texas, your mother, what did she do to former politics? >> she was governor and state involved in women's issues. she felt strongly about women standing up for themselves and advocating for women. i think she saw that from all stripes, democrats republicans
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independents. she was as interested in -- as interested as i am in how do we erased as partisan divide over women's health issues and family issues? we have a long way to go, but there is a real opportunity to do that. i was on the hill briefly and had a tremendous time working with the future speaker of the house and now democratic leader and -- i did not mean that as a joke -- when i worked for her she was not the speaker yet. leader pelosi is an interesting woman and here she is, a catholic, she feels strongly about our face, she's a mother, grandmother to many, has a very strong family, but believes very strongly in women's health care access and the basic rights of women.
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i learned a lot from her at that time. >> cecile richards, president of planned parenthood federation of america, thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. nice to be with you all. >> we are back with our reporters. let me begin with you, david. we focused on a lot on the politics of this. explained a little bit more of why there are politics involving planned parenthood and funding for it. >> part of this issue can take politics out of capitol hill matter how low the -- no matter who you are and what you think is best and should be apolitical. another part is there's a lot of pent-up anger among republicans who have felt for years that planned parenthood, for whatever services it provides, and she was very eloquent in describing that is a political
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organization that opposes republicans. why should the government funnel money to a political organization, regardless of the hyde amendment that helps women obtain abortions which is still a controversial service in many republican circles. republicans who are adamantly pro life. republicans, for years have wanted to cut off funding for planned parenthood and or always disappointed when republicans ran the hill that things like this did not happen. at on top of this, the budget crisis the deficit, the debt, down economy and you have republicans, whether they are talk-radio hosts or bloggers conservative thinkers saying particularly now, when we can't afford anything, you cannot justify to me that we continue funding planned parenthood. as much as she would like to make this about services planned parenthood provides and what
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would happen in terms of how the government would have to spend money in any event, for many republicans on the hill and their supporters around the country, this is a cause i- religious issue. not only should we not fund and the are, we should not fund planned parenthood. >> what about the tea party republicans who said we don't want to talk about social issues. we want to talk about economic issues trade >> it is still a fiscal issue. it is still about the federal government spending money where the private sector should instead. people like her should be talking about this instead. one than i would say for members of congress whether they're democrats or republicans, they are facing a situation where everything has an interest group but nobody wants to cut funds for their group. used -- they say i have you -- you have to protect my nor the world is going to end.
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there's no good answer and no one wants to offer any because the government doesn't have the money. >> let's not forget the new class of freshmen republicans on the hill. many of these members have not been in public office before. many of them are small business owners. people approaching the issues of washington and the sort of every man way, they look at this and think $300 million for a service that maybe the federal government should not be involved in, it does not get into some much the social issues as the role of the federal government. >> she asked about the debate in the size and scope of government and how the two-party republicans are approaching this. it may be a great service, but should the

tv
Newsmakers
CSPAN March 27, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

News/Business. (2011) Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood. Guest reporters Lisa Mascaro, David Drucker.

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 17, Us 6, Washington 2, Pelosi 2, Florida 2, Rakowski 1, Richards 1, Leigh 1, Drang 1, Painewebber 1, Nixon 1, Jack Ups 1, Scott Brown 1, Cecile Richards 1, Texas 1, Catholic 1, Priority 1, Alaska 1, Goldwater 1, Madrid 1
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Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
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